You should always be sure that when you purchase a hoof infection fighter you do your research, comparing apples to apples as a rule of thumb. Bacterial kill time and the effect the product has on moisture balance or retention is of great importance. Many oils that are purposed for use in treating infection (organic or synthetic) are known for their emulsifying properties, properties that aid in moisture retention. Excessive moisture retention has been found to be a cause for the breakdown of the protein bonds responsible for healthy horn development.
Further, there are several factors that can cause an infection to continue such as increased moisture, availability of nutrients for microbes to feed upon (necrotic tissue), and a warm environment. If a product perpetuates any of these factors it is likely not the most effective infection fighter available.
Around the middle of the 20th century it was common to hear of someone using used motor oil on their horses hooves. It was cheap (read free) and killed infection (very little could survive in the acidity of used motor oil).
Today many are turning to essential oils or extracts because of their natural ability to fight infection, often claiming they are cheaper than those products developed specifically for fighting hoof infections. This is often far from the truth. An Internet search for Tea Tree Oil revealed cost ranging from 14.95 oz. to 45.95 for 16 oz. How about Grape Seed Oil, is it cheaper? An Internet search for pure medicinal grape seed extract resulted in cost ranging from 9.95 for 3.5 oz. to 22.50 for 16 oz. You can always find cheaper oils, but it usually means you are getting inferior grade oils with contaminates or those thinned with additives. Here is a link to those products that I use and recommend for use in fighting severe hoof infections. I have spent the better part of ten years developing these products to be safe and highly effective. So the next time someone post a comment suggesting you use an oil for hoof infections in place of those products developed for treating hoof infections, consider whether it truly is more cost effective. After all it is the health of your horse that is at stake.
About the Author:
Keith "KC" La Pierre APF, RJF, CF, MIAEP has been a farrier for more than 30 years. KC is the co-founder of the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry. KC teaches and lectures on Applied Equine Podiatry through out the world. KC has developed and introduced dozens of innovative theories, methods, and products that continue to improve the quality of life of the horse.